I’m in Geneva at SIHH with Cellini Jewelers President Leon Adams checking out the latest timepieces from some of the world finest watch brands. It’s been snowing outside, but the brands have turned up the heat at the show with some spectacular debuts.
After our first full day at the show, we’ve visited nearly a dozen brands, and already there have been some amazing standouts.
We began yesterday in the Carré des Horlogers, a new section of the show dedicated exclusively to highlighting nine indie brands like Laurent Ferrier and Kari Voutilainen. During our visit with the hydro-mechanical wizards at HYT, we finally had a chance to see the Skull Maori in person. The engraving, which is inspired by a Maori tribal tattoo, adds a new dimension to an already unforgettable skull design. The brand added a nice detail by laser engraving the Maori pattern on the leather strap as well.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Reverso this year, and there are many exquisite pieces that celebrate the company’s iconic rotating case. But amid all the Reverso revelry, the brand also introduced a stainless steel Master Ultra Thin Perpetual with a black dial. It’s one of those pieces you see that makes sense instantly. It may be the two gallons of espresso talking, but it’s our early pick for the sleeper hit of the show.
IWC did a fantastic job updating its legendary line of Pilot’s Watches this year, which makes it nearly impossible to pick a favorite. But if the buzz at the show is any indication, the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph is going to be a hit thanks – in no small part – to its rotating bezel. When turned, it adjusts the watch’s signature world time display. It’s an intuitive design that also happens to be really fun to use.
There were quite a few ladies watches that caught our eye, especially the new Limelight Stella from Piaget. The combination of the case’s clean lines and diamonds underlining the moon phase is simply irresistible.
The focus at Roger Dubuis this year is on its Velvet collection for women. Without a doubt, the case shape is one of the prettiest around. However, what knocked us out was two gem-set pieces for men. The Excalibur Spider Flying Tourbillon, which debuted last year with a diamond-set rubber bezel, now comes set with either red rubies or blue sapphires. It’s a wild look, but Roger Dubuis pulls it off with style to spare. And you can just imagine how cool each piece would look with a matching red or blue rubber strap.